What is Direct and Indirect Speech?

There are two types of Narration in English

1. Direct Speech
2. Indirect Speech

What is Direct Speech?

It is a form of Speech in which the exact words of the reporter or a person are reported. The exact words of reporter are quoted under quotation marks. Look at the example below


Here, in this sentence the boy cried and said that he had hurt his leg. The actual words of boy are enclosed under quotation marks. This is called direct speech.
Lets take few more examples.

She said, “I have no time to read this book”
He said, “I will try to visit you tomorrow”
They said, “We are not interested in your offer”

This is called the direct form of speech. Now, if you notice there are two parts of this sentence.

Reporting Speech

The part that is inside quotation marks, is called reported speech. It encloses the exact words of the person talked about in quotation marks.

Reported Speech

The  part that is out of quotation marks, is called reporting speech. This is an introductory part of direct speech sentence. It refers to the person who was talking about some one. Let’s look at the examples below.

He said, “I am reading a new book”
She said, “I have understood what is direct and indirect speech”
They said, “We are studying the rules of reported speech”

Now, if you look closely. These sentences contain two parts. The first introductory part is called reporting speech and the other part in quotation marks is called reported speech.

What is Indirect Speech?

Indirect or reported speech is the form of narration where the exact words of a person are reported in his own way by the reporting person. Quotation marks are excluded and the reported form is usually converted into past tense. The sequence of verbs, order of pronouns and other basic rules are followed. That’s to say,  there are a certain basic rules of narration to be followed. If you are interested in deep study of reported speech rules with examples click here.

what is direct and indirect speech
Direct and Indirect speech

Now, lets study a few more examples of direct and indirect speech and

He said, “I am learning the rules of reported speech”
He said that he was learning the rules of reported speech

She said, “I want to download reported speech rules in pdf”
She said that she wants to download reported speech rules in pdf.

They said, “We want to learn English narration”
They said that they want to learn English narration.


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